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Do Promotions Really Increase eCommerce Conversion Rates
Do Promotions Really Increase eCommerce Conversion Rates

Do Promotions Really Increase eCommerce Conversion Rates?

You wake up in the morning, grab a cup of coffee, and the first thing on your mind is, “How can I improve my conversion rate?

After a few more sips of joy, your second thought is, “How can I get potential customers to stay in my funnels?

Sound familiar?

Many marketers would quote a conversion-rate statistic right here, but I’m not going to do that; there’s no point. You know your stats, and depending on your industry, you know where you want to be in terms of conversion.

So, the pertinent question is: “How do I improve my conversion rate?

Let’s find out.

1. Online promotions count

Before answering the above question, we must understand the causes better.

A survey conducted in January 2019 in the UK found that up to 50% of consumers make a purchase only when an offer or promotion is involved.

Turn that statistic around and think about it for a moment. That means that perhaps half of the consumers in the UK are not making a purchase because of a lack of an offer or promotion.

It gets worse.

The survey also revealed that the number of promotion-driven customers rises to 60% for anyone under the age of 45, with those aged 25 to 34 being the most likely age group to seek an offer.

eCommerce promotions increase conversion rates

That brings the number of possible converting customers down to 4 out of 10. And suppose we factor in other possible variables like poor website design, a confusing customer journey, poor quality product images, etc.. In that case, it is easy to understand why average eCommerce conversion rates are what they are.

The message for e-retailers is clear: promotions are the way to go if you want to activate your customers.

2. Multiple benefits for retailers

Let’s be clear about what we are talking about when we say promotions.

Promotions are not flashing banner-type annoyances shouting, “Come and visit my website, NOW.”

A good promotion should enhance your product marketing and offer your customers an incentive, some added value specifically for them.

In addition, promotions can be placed at different points along with your conversion and sales funnels and benefit your business by working on several levels, often simultaneously.

3. A simple formula

But before we get into the details of what promotion to place and where there is a very simple formula that can make all the difference:

2 + 2 = 10

Another way to express this would be:

reduced bounce rate + reduced drop-off rate = increased sales

The maths does add up.

If you can reduce your bounce rate by 2% and drop-off rate by 2%, you will get a 10% increase in sales.

By analyzing your conversion funnel and pinpointing the drop-off points, you will know where to place your promotions to plug the leaks.

4. The top of the funnel

Your conversions here are about creating interest, engagement, and referrals to your website.

4.1 Social referral traffic

Promotions are great for showcasing new products on social media, stimulating chatter about your brand, and encouraging engagement on your social channels.

They can be easily published as a Facebook app, and allow you to increase your marketing opt-in database by collecting visitors’ contact details.

eCommerce promotions increase conversion rates

Promotions can offer rewards in exchange for the opt-in details and direct customers to your website, where they can use the reward on a purchase.

4.2 Insight, feedback, and trends

Promotions allow you to gain insight into your new product ranges with real-time feedback from existing and potential new customers.

eCommerce promotions increase conversion rates

You can use promotions to run comparative competitions with images of new products. Your fans and customers vote for their favourite product and provide their email addresses at the same time, thus providing you with crucial information on what’s trending.

Combining customer-specific preferences and direct contact details gives you the upper hand in your marketing activities.

4.3 Marketing opt-in database

They are an extremely efficient way to collect potential customer contact details for further marketing opportunities and offer participation rewards.

The UK report found that email marketing is still the most popular way consumers want to receive information on discounts and offers. 76% of respondents stated that they want offers in their inboxes.

Many promotions are built on the premise that a reward is offered in exchange for contact details. A suitable reward lowers the threshold for potential customers to provide their contact details and opens up a direct marketing channel for the retailer.

4.4 Social sharing

Promotions allow happy customers to share promotions on social channels.

Certain promotions are specifically designed to increase your brand visibility on social media while still offering rewards.

These viral promotions work on an incremental reward logic. This means that your customer can receive a basic reward for submitting their contact details or an enhanced reward for submitting contact details and sharing the promotion with friends on their social networks.

This way, your brand gets a more organic reach and, in the best-case scenario, can go viral.

5. Further down the funnel

Your conversions here are about keeping potential customers on your website and enticing them to make a purchase. The promotions are embedded directly into your website and drive visitors to your sales funnel and, ultimately, the checkout page.

5.1 Customer activation

Promotions activate passive customers and entice them to make purchases by offering instant rewards.

As we know, eCommerce sites have an average abandonment rate of 65 – 75%. Anything you can do as a retailer to reduce this percentage will show up positively in your conversion rate.

For example, a virtual scratchcard promotion can reward your customer instantly and inject a little fun into the purchase process.

eCommerce promotions increase conversion rates

Promotions activate customers by incentivizing the purchase process on a logical level, by offering an instant discount (price-based); or on an emotional level, by offering a product-related reward (value-based).

Both incentives increase your customers’ purchase intent and make the final step to the checkout page more appealing.

In the following example, the customer shops for a pet-related product and receives a free chewing toy for his dog via a scratchcard promotion.

eCommerce promotions increase conversion rates

Online promotions should also encourage your customer to return to your store. Coupons that can be used on subsequent visits ensure repeat custom. And whenever possible, a promotion should allow customers to invite their friends to your store and share their positive shopping experiences on their social channels.

6. Multi-channel promotions

Consumers are spoilt for choice in a multichannel world with a huge online retail marketplace. Your best chance of reaching them is by knowing what they love, what they want, and what they are most likely to buy, and then choosing the most appropriate channels to tell them about it.

The promotions you use in your social channels will showcase your brand and products and capture the contact details of potential customers. They will also refer traffic to your website, where your embedded promotions will keep them in your sales funnel and make it worth their while to buy from you rather than the next guy.

7. Conversions, not gimmicks

Don’t think of promotions as a quick gimmick to garner attention around a specific product; they are much more than that.

Think of promotions as enticing and encouraging your customers along your funnels right to your checkout page where, guess what, there’s a promotion offering them a reward for making the purchase.


And there you have it. 7 tips to create promotions that will increase the conversion rate of your eCommerce store.

I suggest hiring a specialized conversion rate optimization service to help you make the most of your e-commerce traffic.

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